Soap Vet William Christian Looks Back On His Bad Boy Days Of Our Lives Role

Actor William Christian appeared on "All My Children" from 1990 to 2007 — he even received a Daytime Emmy nomination for the show — before he walked onto the set of "Days of Our Lives" in early 2022. However, his character TR Coates couldn't be more different than the kind-hearted police chief named Derek Frye that he played on "AMC" for many years.

When movie producer TR Coates arrived in Salem, viewers quickly realized that he was the abusive ex-husband of Paulina Price (Jackée Harry) who used to go by Ray. Not long after his arrival in town, TR ran into Paulina and quickly discovered that he was the biological father of her daughter Lani Price Grant (Sal Stowers), according to Soap Opera Spy. TR did his best to connect with Lani and Paulina and promised that he was a changed man — though that was certainly not the case.

It didn't take very long for TR's true colors to come out and prove that he was just as menacing as Paulina had always described him to be.

TR Coates quickly proved he hadn't changed his ways

During TR Coates' short few months on the show, he shot his daughter's husband Eli Grant (Lamon Archey) when he caught TR buying drugs. He also killed his drug dealer with an overdose in an attempt to cover up his crime (via Soaps). TR then physically assaulted Beth Howard (Donielle Artese) who threatened to expose his nefarious ways. 

Later, when confronted by Paulina Price's ex Abe Carver (James Reynolds), TR hit him in the head with a baseball bat and threatened violence against Paulina (via Daytime Confidential). Lani Price Grant walked in on the scene and, seeing the man who raised her unconscious on the floor and her mother in danger, didn't hesitate to shoot her biological father. TR's last words before he died were to tell Lani that he loved and forgave her.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

William Christian enjoyed playing a villain for a change

TR Coates is different than any other character William Christian played before. He recently spoke to Soap Opera Digest about embodying someone so dark. "I can't even describe how much fun I had. I don't usually get to play this kind of character," he said. "So, it's fun to play the villain." Christian's enthusiasm about the role was palpable, though he nearly turned it down, according to Soaps. "Everything about this character is exciting. He's rich. He's meaty. He's got this wicked past," the actor added.

When asked if TR got what he deserved, Christian replied, "Well, nobody deserves to die, but as far as a storyline, sure. He met with a justifiable ending." He then explained that he knew there would be no turning things around for his character after he murdered his drug dealer. "He killed a person ... You can't come back from something like that," Christian said that he told his co-stars Judi Evans (Bonnie) and Patrika Darbo (Nancy). Evans replied in jest, "You never know. I've killed a bunch of people on this show."

When trying to get into the spirit of his character, Christian tried to channel another daytime legend — Susan Lucci. He compared TR to Lucci's longtime role as the ultimate villain Erica Kane on "All My Children." "Well, maybe not as rich as that, but it's a rich, juicy, male daytime character and I get to play a less-than-savory person," he told Soap Opera Digest (via CheatSheet).

William Christian wishes he could have explored the character further

In the world of daytime television, some characters are created for longevity; others are designed to make short-term appearances in order to push certain storylines. William Christian knew when he signed on to "Days of Our Lives" that the purpose of TR Coates was simply to disrupt the lives of Paulina Price, Lani Price Grant, and Abe Carver. However, he does wish he could have delved further into his character's background.

"Why is somebody a drug addict? I would have loved to explore that a little more, because it's self-destructive. You have everything, then you're sabotaging yourself? I would have liked to investigate a little more of that," Christian told Soap Opera Digest. Though he wanted to spend more time in TR's shoes, the actor noted that he had nothing against the show for killing his character off. "I did that job, and it was written well. I just wish I could have been there longer." Christian particularly enjoyed working with actress Sal Stower. "I loved coming to the set and working with her," he told Soaps. "She's lovely, and she has this really great emotional life."

In fact, Christian said he was more than open to the possibility of returning to "DOOL." "If they can figure out a way for that to happen, sure," he told Soap Opera Digest.